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Medical Tourism to Guatemala

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Overview

Guatemala remains a popular and viable destination for medical tourism due to the stellar facilities and low costs. Guatemala’s medical industry is fairly strong due to the guarantee in its constitution that every citizen has a universal right to healthcare.

Guatemala Healthcare System

The Guatemalan healthcare system is divided into three different sectors: the public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit. The public division covers approximately 88% of the population and is regulated and supported by the Ministry of Health and Social Security (MOH), the Guatemalan Social Security Institute (IGSS), and the Military Health Service. The private sector accounts for the remaining population percentage and includes non-profit facilities, for-profit entities, as well as standard local providers.

When traveling to Guatemala for medical purposes, it is advised that you seek care at a reputable, private hospital in order to receive the best service.

Guatemala does not currently have any hospitals accredited by the Join Commission International (JCI).

Top hospitals for medical tourism in Guatemala

  • Hospital Herrera Llerandi: The Hospital Herrera Llerandi has been recognized by the Association of Medical Specialists of Guatemala. It is a non-profit private institution that focuses providing the best in modern medicine and techniques to both its local population and medical tourists.
  • Hospital Maranatha: Founded in 1984, the Hospital Marantha was formed by a group of seven doctors who shared a desire to provide a better healthcare offering to the Guatemalan people. They’ve now placed some attention on offerings for foreigners traveling for medical services.
  • Nuestra Senora Del Pilar Hospital: The Nuestra Senora Del Pilar Hospital was established in 1963 and has an illustrious history of providing top quality care through innovative techniques, modern equipment, and strict attention on customer satisfaction and safety.
  • Hermano Pedro Hospital: As with many hospitals within the country, the Hermano Pedro Hospital has a rich history of providing top patient care through the latest technological advances, modern techniques, and competent professionals who are passionate about their work.

Common treatments done by medical tourists in Guatemala

  • Dental Care
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Stem Cell Research and Treatment
  • Weight Loss Surgery

Cost of medical treatments in Guatemala

The following are cost comparisons between Medical procedures in Guatemala and equivalent procedures in the United States:
Medical Procedures
Procedure US Hospitals Guatemala Average Savings
Facelift $21,000 $5,500 73%
Liposuction $19,750 $5,400 72%
Laser Teeth Whitening $1,500 $250 83%

Malpractice and liability laws in Guatemala

Malpractice and liability laws aren’t as stringent when comparing Guatemala to some of its western counterparts. Much of the medical malpractice and liability laws have been overseen by the United States Agency for International Development.

Pros

  • Low Cost

    On average, medical tourists can expect to pay anywhere from 65%-85% less on medical procedures when compared to the cost of the procedure in America. We recently read a report of a man saving himself nearly $45,000 on a knee replacement surgery he elected to have done in Guatemala instead of the USA.
  • Vacation destination

    Guatemala is famously home to crystal blue oceans, fiery volcanos, endless rainforests, and historic Mayan ruins. The views and experience in Guatemala is a breathtaking, once in a lifetime experience that serves as the perfect location for recovering from a surgical procedure.

Cons

  • Language Barrier

    Guatemala has a wide variety of languages that are used regularly by locals. While you will find citizens that do speak the English language, it’s not a commonly spoken language so communicating with locals might be a challenge.
  • Safety

    In a survey published by Prensa Libre (Guatemalan newspaper), 52% of Guatemalans described “lack of security” as their primary concern with living in the country. Most the crime occurs in the main city (Guatemalan City), but the government has done an excellent job of protecting tourists and shielding them from this side of the country.

Traveling to Guatemala

Average estimated travel time in hours
From/To Guatemala
New York 5
Los Angeles 4.5
Miami 2.5
Toronto 6.5
Paraguay 7.5
Uruguay 5
Venezuela 4
Bolivia 6
Dubai 18
Riyadh 17.5
Kuwait 17
London 11

Entry and exit requirements to Guatemala

For entry to the Guatemala Republic, you must have a passport that contains a blank page for stamping and is valid at the time of entry. A tourist visa is not required if you’re staying 90 days or less. $10,000 in provisional funds is required for entry/exit.

Statistics for medical tourism in Guatemala

No Guatemalan hospitals focus on medical tourism at this point in time. This is mainly because medical tourists do not make up a proportionally large part of their patients. Medical Tourism has received endorsements and support from different governmental agencies, but many are still trying to determine what exactly the support means as there’s been no real initiative by any governmental body to place focus on medical tourism.

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